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Al-Qassam are not terrorists: open the Rafah crossing and lift the siege of Gaza!

Statement by the Revolutionary Socialists

The decision by the Urgent Matters Court yesterday [31 January] to designate the Ezz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, as a “terrorist organisation” represents another round in the series of attacks by the Egyptian regime against the Palestinian resistance and the people of Gaza.

Just one day after this shameful decision, an Israeli delegation arrived in Cairo today [1 February] to explore supplying Egypt with natural gas, the ongoing normalisation of economic relations, and security coordination over operations in Sinai with the Zionist enemy, as we see escalating random arrests and collective punishments imposed on the population of Sinai, the complete destruction the Egyptian city of Rafah and the expulsion of its inhabitants.

Like rabid dogs, the Sisi regime, its “strategic experts”, the presenters on the private and state TV channels closest to the security apparatus, and the pens of the yellow press, have gone on the attack against the Al-Qassam Brigades and besieged Gaza.

Incitement against the Palestinian people has been a characteristic of the Egyptian media since the signing of the Camp David Accord in the Sadat era, and continued with attempts to demonise the resistance throughout Mubarak’s rule. We must not forget that Mubarak’s hostility towards the Palestinian resistance reached the stage where he allowed Tzipi Livni and the leadership of the enemy to declare war on Gaza from Cairo itself in 2008.

But the incitement against the Palestinians reached unprecedented heights after the explosion of the 25th January revolution. Not a day has passed without the regime and the media hurling accusations and insults at the Palestinians, from killing demonstrators in Tahrir Square to spying and plotting terrorist operations against the army, the police and civilians in Sinai and elsewhere.

The regime has never advanced the slightest bit of material evidence that the Al-Qassam Brigades or any other faction of the resistance have planned any violent acts on Egyptian soil, leaving the jokers of the media, such as Ahmed Moussa, Tawfiq Okasha and Amani al-Khayat to throw out accusations left and right with impunity, brazenly supporting Israel’s war on Gaza. Now the situation is farcical, as the leaders of the Al-Qassam Brigades are being accused of organising operations in Sinai months, or even years, after their martyrdom at the hands of the Israeli occupying forces.

The regime of Sisi, who presented himself at the beginning of the coup as a ‘new Nasser’, who was resisting Israel and America in the region, is nothing but a lie. When he said he would “go the distance”, he didn’t mean travelling the road to Jerusalem, but rather the length of an oil pipeline, using Egyptian army to advance the regional agendas of Saudi Arabia and the Emirates with the blessing of American and Israel.

The Revolutionary Socialists condemn the court’s decision and demand an end to the continual campaign of incitement against the Palestinian resistance in the media. Yes, we have our political and intellectual differences with Hamas but we confirm our unconditional critical support for the movement as it confronts the Israeli occupation, and in its confrontation with the Arab regimes which are trying to strangle and starve the Palestinian people in Gaza and in the refugee camps of the diaspora in the interests of Israel and America.

We call for the immediate opening of the Rafah Crossing to people and goods, and the immediate end to the siege and the policy of starvation which the Sisi regime has imposed. We call for compensation for the people of Rafah City in Egypt, the rebuilding of their town and an end to the absurd plans for the expansion of the buffer zone.

The Revolutionary Socialists
1 February 2015